What Are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file, typically of letters and numbers, downloaded on to a device when the user accesses certain websites. Cookies are then sent back to originating website on each subsequent visit. Cookies are useful because they allow a website to recognise a user’s device. The Regulations apply to cookies and also to similar technologies for storing information. This could include, for example, Local Shared Objects.
This guidance will explain how the rules apply for those operating websites and using cookies. The guidance uses the term ‘cookies’ to refer to cookies and similar technologies covered by the Regulations.
For more information see: http://www.allaboutcookies.org/
There are a number of different types of cookies that can be used:
Session and persistent cookies
Cookies can expire at the end of a browser session (from when a user opens the browser window to when they exit the browser) these are “Session cookies” or they can be stored for longer – these are “Persistent cookies”.
Session cookies – allow websites to link the actions of a user during a browser session. They may be used for a variety of purposes such as remembering what a user has put in their shopping basket as they browse around a site. They could also be used for security when a user is accessing internet banking or to facilitate use of webmail. These session cookies expire after a browser session so would not be stored longer term. For this reason session cookies may sometimes be considered less privacy intrusive than persistent cookies.
Persistent cookies – are stored on a users’ device in between browser sessions which allows the preferences or actions of the user across a site (or in some cases across different websites) to be remembered. Persistent cookies may be used for a variety of purposes including remembering users’ preferences and choices when using a site or to target advertising.
First and third party cookies – Whether a cookie is ‘first’ or ‘third’ party refers to the website or domain placing the cookie. First party cookies in basic terms are cookies set by a website visited by the user - the website displayed in the URL window. Third party cookies are cookies that are set by a domain other than the one being visited by the user. If a user visits a website and a separate company sets a cookie through that website this would be a third party cookie.
Our trading website uses a Session Cookie – some modern browsers block these and the user cannot log in because they are regarded as third party cookies. This is because the same trading site is used for a few different products and therefore the top banner on the screen has a different URL to the trading website.
Here is a list of any cookies that are in use on our web site; the information held within them and the purpose of the cookie:
|Cookie Name||Cookie Type||What it does|
This is essential to the running of the site as it allows us to maintain your session on the website after you have logged in.
This is for your own security as well as it means that the site can automatically log you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
Example Content for this Cookie: